(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)
* Intel gains on $20 bln chip expansion announcement
* GameStop (NYSE: GME ) slumps on plans to sell shares
* Energy stocks jump 3% as oil prices rebound
* Indexes: Dow up 0.88%, S&P up 0.51%, Nasdaq off 0.40% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)
By Devik Jain and Medha Singh
March 24 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow rose on Wednesday on a boost from economy-linked financial and industrial stocks as Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen offered an optimistic view of a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The top economic officials' prepared remarks mirrored those delivered on Tuesday before the Congress, with Yellen signaling U.S. banks look healthy enough to be allowed to pay dividends and repurchase stock. Street's main indexes have flipped between gains and losses this week as easing bond yields prompted a return to beaten-down technology stocks from energy and financial stocks that stand to benefit from a reopening economy.
Adding to the positive momentum, data showed U.S. factory activity picked up in early March amid strong growth in new orders. However, supply chain disruptions continued to exert cost pressures for manufacturers, keeping inflation fears in focus. order for the market to bottom we need to have more fear, and I don't feel like the market has fear right now. Everybody's bullish about the prospects of a recovery right now," said David Yepez, lead equity analyst and portfolio manager at Exencial Wealth Advisors.
At 11:54 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 284.36 points, or 0.88%, at 32,707.51, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 19.95 points, or 0.51%, at 3,930.47, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 53.11 points, or 0.40%, at 13,174.59.
Intel Corp INTC.O edged 0.1% higher as the company, in its efforts to expand chip making capacity, announced plans to spend as much as $20 billion to build two factories in Arizona and open its factories to outside customers. shares of rival Taiwan Semiconductor TSM.N dropped 2.5%, while semiconductor equipment makers Lam Research Corp LRCX.O , Applied Materials Inc AMAT.O and ASML Holding (AS: ASML ) ASML.O gained between 3.3% and 6.4%.
Bitcoin BTC=BTSP gained 3% as Tesla Inc's TSLA.O chief, Elon Musk, said the company's electric vehicles can now be bought using bitcoin and the option will be available outside the United States later this year. Corp GME.N tumbled 13% after the videogame retailer said it might cash in on a meteoric rise in its share price to fund its e-commerce expansion. issues outnumbered decliners 2.06-to-1 on the NYSE, while declining issues outnumbered advancers 1.11-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 12 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 33 new highs and 77 new lows.
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